Florida gas prices jump 10 cents — could a cyberattack make it worse?

The Colonial Pipeline stretches 5,500 miles, delivering fuel from Texas to the northeast.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida’s average gas price climbed a dime over the past week, reaching $2.88 for a gallon of regular unleaded on Monday morning.

Fortunately for Florida drivers, experts say we won’t face the greatest impact from the cyberextortion attempt that forced the shutdown of a vital U.S. pipeline.

The Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline carries gasoline and diesel from refineries in Texas across the southeastern United States and up the eastern seaboard, but Florida is not largely dependent on it for gas, the American Automobile Association says.

Map shows the Colonial Pipeline Company's system. (Courtesy of AAA)

“Most of Florida’s fuel is delivered from Gulf Coast refineries via waterborne vessels. Because of this, Florida should remain well supplied with gasoline, despite the pipeline outage,” AAA said in a news release. “However, as always, pump prices remain vulnerable to futures price swings, which are influenced by domestic and international supply and demand.”

Patrick De Haan, who tracks fuel prices for GasBuddy, also noted on Twitter that Florida “shouldn’t be significantly disrupted but it’s not impossible some cargoes are redirected.”

The cyberattack of Colonial Pipeline was reportedly carried out by a criminal gang known as DarkSide that cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity.

“The longer the pipeline is down, the greater the threat of rising gas prices,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA. “If operations are restored on Monday, drivers may see very little to no impact at the pump. A lengthy downtime, like a week, would be a different story.”

Meanwhile, Jenkins noted that Florida’s gas price jump was in response to crude oil and gasoline futures price gains that were forecasted last week.

The state’s average price of $2.88 per gallon is three cents shy of the high price for the year, according to AAA’s data. The national average on Monday morning is $2.97.

As is often the case, we are paying more than the state average in South Florida.

Below is a look at the average prices in South Florida on Monday, according to AAA:

  • Miami-Dade County: $2.903
  • Broward County: $2.903
  • Monroe County: $2.940
  • Palm Beach County: $2.989

For more information on Florida gas prices, click here.